Ash-Matic Does Good News and Bad News.

The other night I had two pieces of news:

One was that the lovely Miss-Matic would be away overnight the next day, due to a work commitment; the other was that our fridge-freezer had broken.

Now, I’ve been living in this world for a couple of years now, so I know the rule for this kind of situation:

When one is the recipient of two pieces of news, those two factoids have to be classified into ‘good’ news, and ‘bad’ news categories.

They can’t both be good, or both be bad – that would be silly. How would you tell someone that you have two pieces of news? How would you ask them which one they wanted to hear first? It wouldn’t matter. They wouldn’t care.

No, one has to be good, the other bad.

So I sat down on the sofa with a flip chart and some markers, my laptop, an abacus and a good-luck souvenir poker chip from Las Vegas, and began to work out which was which.

I think it’s fairly obvious what my conclusions were, but since you’re reading this you clearly don’t have anything more important to do – or maybe you’re just killing time while your subconscious is considering murder, or suicide, and if I can just distract you for a few seconds more, the heroine (or social worker) might arrive in time to save the day. So it’s probably my social responsibility to tell you.

With Miss-Matic out of the house, I could pretty much do anything I liked, and these things can be divided into two categories:

The fun category

This consists of all the things of which she might not approve, and would never need to know about. For instance I could:

  • Stay up late making animal noises.
  • Have a Powerpuff Girls themed party.
  • Get hilariously drunk.
  • Throw up on the floor and pretend I didn’t.
  • Paint something that doesn’t need painting.
  • Call over some high-class escorts and get them to make me toast.
  • See whether I can muster sufficient pressure to pee into the toilet from outside the confines of the bathroom.
  • Build a death-ray and test it on the house-plants.


The responsible category

In Miss-Matic’s absence, with no distractions, and no need to engage in the kind of hilarious and thought-provoking rhetoric that usually characterises our evenings, I could:

  • Run some tests for the enormous project I haven’t been doing.
  • Do some research for the other assignment I haven’t been doing.
  • Make a contribution to the group-task to which I haven’t been contributing.

While this second category of options sounds infinitely less appealing, those things do need to be done, and procrastination only gets you so far in life. Unless you’re a professional procrastinator – which is a career-path I would like to one day pursue, but am busy right now.

With all these options available to me, and with my mind already staring wide-eyed with wonder at the possibilities, Miss-Matic’s forthcoming absence was clearly the good news.

And as for the fridge-freezer, well, that was obvious. There was lots of food defrosting. Somebody was going to have to call the landlord, wait until some guy shows up at hand-wavy-o’clock on a day when I have better things to do – only to look at it and say, ‘Hmm. It’s fucked, mate.’ Then he’ll go away and leave me to wait desperately by the phone for the landlord’s preferred choice of domestic-appliance provider to call back and arrange an appointment to deliver a new one.

I’m pretty sure that counts as bad news.

Ha ha ha.

How wrong I was.

I didn’t do anything in the fun category. With all the freedom of the flat in which to entertain myself, I did absolutely nothing entertaining. Not even the thing with the death-ray.

I also did nothing in the responsible category. With all the work I have to do, I left it all, to be left to be done at another time, at another time.

Instead I did things in a new category, one I did not anticipate:

The boring category

These things that do not an exciting or productive day make. A day in which the boring category is exhausted is not one that will flash before your eyes as the wheels of the number 52 bus leave their regulation-depth tread marks on your torso. It consists of thing like:

  • Standing up.
  • Sitting down.
  • Lying down.
  • Staring at things.
  • Wandering into rooms.
  • Wandering out of rooms.
  • Looking at unwashed dishes.
  • Looking at unfinished work.
  • Looking out of the window.
  • Looking at the clock.
  • Peeing into the toilet from a normal distance.

I did all of these things, and not much else. It was a waste of a day.

If Miss-Matic had been around, I could have done fun things with her – like that thing we do with the spaghetti and the wind-chimes. Or the thing that needs all the lube. Or we could have argued about the ethics behind different ice-cream flavours. Maybe I could have told her my two jokes de jour again – they’ve been my jokes de jour for about a month now, but we derive entertainment value from her telling me to stop telling her. Or at the very least I could have pretended to do some of my work alongside her while she found me new jokes de jour online.

So it turned out that Miss-Matic’s overnight absence was the bad news all along.

But, if you’ll be so kind as to remember the good-news bad-news rule, that meant that the broken fridge-freezer constituted the good news.

How can that be?‘ – I hear you whisper – your voices subdued with awe and a more than a hint of jealous wonder.

Well, as the temperature slowly increased inside the fridge, all the food within needed to be eaten within a limited time-frame. Especially that giant pack of bacon Miss-Matic bought to cook her guests the other day. The giant pack of bacon that wasn’t opened in the end.

All that bacon… All needing to be eaten… All at once…


I had many, many, many lovely bacon sandwiches.

And they were lovely.

Thanks, broken fridge-freezer.

You saved my day.

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38 Responses

  1. HeatherL says:

    I’m glad to know I am not the only one who still uses an abacus.

    And also, my children threatened to get one of those smart phone security things so that they could check in on me during the day to make sure I wasn’t getting into mischief.

    Honestly! What is the world coming to when children think they can’t leave their parents home alone?

  2. Nikki says:

    This was amazing. I make many many trips into the boring category. There’s also a pretending-to-be-productive category which involves moving books around, putting things in piles and drawing important magical candy castles 🙂

  3. crowbloke says:

    i think you just described my day. , most days actually. also – my fridge stopped working.

  4. LOL!!! I think that this was really cute. Does miss-matic know she was your bad news? Bacon made me laugh out loud. thanks

  5. The Beans says:

    You have an abacus. You just became so much more awesome, dude.

    So, has the freezer been repaired yet, or is it completely kaput?

    -Barb the French Bean

  6. Jeremy says:

    This post made me laugh. Partially because the boring category describes what I do alone. (mostly the wandering in and out of rooms)

  7. erica says:

    Yet another reason I am jealous that I cannot pee standing up.

  8. sporkgasm says:

    I got nothing from this except, “Why is Ash’s pee the color of Gatorade? He should get that checked out!”

    • Ash-Matic says:

      What? You think I’d be so crude as to portray myself peeing? I was off-screen with a soft-drink that is not actually available in my country of residence.

  9. Chiz says:

    I begin these types of days by waking up an putting together a list of things that need to get done. However, by the time the list is finished it’s time to go to bed.

  10. Kait says:

    The good news? I love the way you string words together.
    The bad news? My ribs hurt when I laugh too hard.

  11. Brett Minor says:

    You made me want to watch Powerpuff Girls. I loved that show. The party definitely deserved to be in the fun category.

    My favorite villain was HIM, the cross dressing devil.

  12. Sofia J. says:

    Well, what can I say… interesting point of view of what might have been a very boring and sad day, except for the bacon part.

    • Ash-Matic says:

      I know. If it wasn’t for the bacon I have no idea what pit of despair I would be trying to claw my way from. Probably a deep one, with no bacon in it.

  13. lily says:

    So many hilarious moments in the fun category. But the one that made me pee my knickers a little, “Call over some high-class escorts and get them to make me toast”.

    Hilarity at it’s best!

  14. mistyslaws says:

    I agree. I mean, who ever heard someone say, “so, do you want the good news or the good news?” Preposterous!

    That boring day sounds exactly like the day I have had at work. Including peeing into the toilet from a normal distance.

    And is “get them to make me toast” what the kids are calling it these days? I will have to add that to my “hip and cool sayings” vocabulary at once!

    • Ash-Matic says:

      I would definitely do that. You might get all kinds of toasty rewards!

      I hope your weekend is less boring than your Friday. May your pee fly further!

  15. Ellen Lloyd says:

    Your picture made me laugh out loud! Great post, looking at unwashed dishes is one my my “favourite” procrastination activities too! 😉

  16. Wily Guy says:

    Nice post, I am of the news can indeed be bad and then worse, as well as good and better. But the good news is I normally only espouse those types of ideologies on my blog (where I also say ‘espouse’) and the bad news is now that you have heard my ideology, there is a fear factor that may keep you from visiting.

    Yeah, I followed, so now you’ll likely hear from me more.


  17. Nathan says:

    I’m going to have a powerpuff girls themed party now…

  18. Addman says:

    Rather than looking at unwashed dishes, you could have used them as frizbees, or for clay pigeon shooting. Honestly, spend a weekend with me and every moment will be in the fun category! You won’t even miss miss-matic.

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